The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin Launches YouTube Channel and New Video Series

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Nonprofit Milk Bank Video Series Features Central Texas Moms Sharing Stories About Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Donating Breastmilk and Making a Difference in the Lives of Premature Babies

premature baby, donor human milk

After her son was born prematurely and received donor human milk, a Central Texas mother decided to give back to the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin as as human milk donor.

Some milk donors call it their first community service project with their infant child, others say it’s a way to give back to other families whose tiny babies need donor human milk to thrive.

The Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin today announced it has launched a series of six short films by producer/director Carson Coots of Austin, Texas, featuring women who have given birth to premature and critically ill babies, as well as women who were able to save the lives of such babies by donating life-saving breastmilk. Coots shines a light on mothers, supportive fathers, babies and siblings who represent the full range of families affected by premature birth and the growing demand for donor human milk.

Some women call it their first community service project with their infant child, others say it’s a way to give back to other families whose tiny babies need human milk to thrive.

“Our milk donors are our lifesavers and each has a unique story,” explains Kim Updegrove, executive director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, who also appears in the series. “For example, our donor Melanie decided to donate her breastmilk after her premature son received donor milk in the hospital. Other donors, such as Meghan, were such great ‘overproducers’ who knew the value of their ‘liquid gold.’”

“Then mothers like Jennifer find that being a milk donor means making the most of a very unique and short time in her life and that of her infant – it’s like a mother/baby volunteer project,” Updegrove says.

The Milk Bank’s new film series includes a short documentary-style overview of human milk banking, featuring interviews with six mothers who donated breastmilk or received donor milk for their babies, as well as Updegrove, lactation consultant Barbara Wilson-Clay, neonatologists Dr. Peter Untalan and Dr. Sonny Rivera. Dr. Rivera co-founded the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin in 1998 after studying the effect of breastmilk on his fragile patients and seeing the devastating outcomes for premature babies who did not receive human milk.

“With a newborn, or you know even like a 2-month-old, 3-month-old there’s not a lot of time in balancing work and all of that, so it was some way that I could make a difference that was already built into what I was doing,” says Jennifer Gandin Le, who donated more than 500 ounces. “I was already pumping, I was already storing milk, and so the fact that I could make such a large impact was something that required relatively small amounts of my time and effort really appealed to me.”

“Being able to call on other mothers in the community that are willing and able to give up this excess milk, to support the children who really need it, I mean there is little that is more important than that,” says Meghan, who donated more than 2,000 ounces. “And, frankly, it is a really easy thing to do if it is part of your routine that’s established early on.”

The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin video series was directed and produced by Carson Coots, Cognitive Films, Austin, Texas.

About the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin
The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk by physician prescription, primarily to premature and ill infants. Women who are lactating can donate milk to The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin regardless of where they live. Prospective donors across the U.S. may call toll-free 1-877-813-6455. Learn more at

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